FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County deputies are investigating an apparent double murder and suicide on Whispiring Stream Court in north Tarrant County Monday. Investigators say a man apparently shot his wife and elderly mother in law before killing himself.
“They loved life,” said John Dreiling, nephew of two of the dead family members and grandson of the eldest victim. “My aunt loved life, my grandmother loved life, my uncle. They always seemed happy.”
58-year-old Michael Nichols, his 56-year-old wife Patricia and her mother, 85-year-old Tina Dreiling, were supposed to be going on vacation. A man who came by to feed the dogs found a note near the dog food stating something terrible had happened and warning people to dial 911 and not to enter the house.
“He was one of those persons you like to have as a neighbor,” said Todd Snyder, who lives across the street. “He’s very friendly, always waved.”
Snyder was in his home when deputies arrived and sealed off the street Monday morning. The man who found the note thought he’d seen someone moving in the home. After not being able to contact anyone in the home, a tactical team forced entry into the house. They found all three people dead, killed by shotgun blasts. Deputies discovered what they say were extensive writings clearly left out to be found. Investigators say all signs point to a double murder-suicide.
“I was, I was just blown away,” said Snyder. ”I couldn’t believe something like that would happen not only in my neighborhood but to such a nice neighbor who seemed like he’s well balanced and like I said, kind of the neighbor you’d like to have, you know?”
A family member said Michael Nichols stayed home to take care of his mother-in-law while Patricia worked as an anesthesiologist. But there was no indication of any family trouble.
“You know, we were here for Thanksgiving everything seemed jolly,” Dreiling said. “No. There was no indication.”